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Livestock haulers get temporary waiver from hours rule provision

| July 08, 2013

ivestock trailerLivestock transporters will temporarily not have to comply with the new 30-minute break required by the most recent hours of service rule changes (which took effect July 1) due to summer heat, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced.

The agency told the National Pork Producers Council last week it would be publishing a waiver next week in the Federal Register.

The Council, along with a dozen other groups, petitioned the agency for an exemption in mid-June, citing forecasts for above-average temperatures through September that could exacerbate temperature increases for animals being transported.

FMCSA officials also said they would develop a more permanent exemption for livestock and poultry haulers, too.

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  • martymarsh

    I certainly do not want to see any animals suffer, but that man up in the cab of that truck is no better or worse than the rest of us. It would be obvious to most that if you can give him an exemption then the law is not needed.

  • EF McHenry

    100% correct!! And I couldn’t have said it better! This double standard hypocrisy stinks to high heaven! The application of the new HOS rules appear to be defined as a safety issue only if you haul general freight! But like magic if you pull a bullwagon or a literal live chicken wagon, there’s no safety issue involved.

    Just like the American Trucking Association talks fatigue with their desire to get FMCSA to develop and make law a sleep apnea screening rule, over FMCSA’s current intention to submit guidance only on the apnea issues which would not have the force of law! But then, on retaining the 11hr driving limit, suddenly driver fatigue was no longer a issue!

    For legal reasons, I can’t name specifics but I know of a individual with a large motor carrier who admitted and said ”fat drivers don’t run hard!” ”They are wasting the use of our equipment!” They like to take breaks and sleep plus they are a workers comp and disability liability!” When his comment was challenged by a 40yr trucking veteran who happened upon his remark, this same person high on the food chain with this large carrier quipped, ”hell fat drivers are just a bunch of ‘dry drunks’ going down the road, and the quicker we get them out from under the wheel, the better we’ll all be!”

    This is where we are right now full-throttle with the force of the FMCSA behind the massive lobby efforts of groups like the ATA! This is where is it now, what it’s become…. It’s not only a sad day in trucking, it’s a sad day in America as well. But your comment was spot on!!

  • Mike Smith

    I get hot, TOO!!!!

  • Melody

    Are honeybees considered livestock?

  • SWK02

    Gee sure wish the Government would put just as much emphasis on the man up front vs. the animal in the back of the truck! I don’t understand why the Government or the safety groups who keep pushing for this crap fail to understand how much better the old rules were vs. this crap they are pushing now. Old rules, allowed to drive 12 hours in a 15 hour window. If a driver wanted to take a 2 hour nap he could pull over and hit the hay and his driving time stopped. When he got back up he could continue on his merry way as long as he didn’t exceed his 12 hour driving time in the 15 hour window. It worked great, if drivers were tired they just had to pull over and sleep for 2 or 3 hours. Now under the 11 hour driving, 14 hour total rule we have to drive and our time does not stop if we do. So now we are forced by the companies to drive no matter what. If we are tired, guess what we still have to drive. Its now like we have a gun to our head. This is not making things safer at all. How dumb are these college educated fools who keep thinking this crap up? If they are so smart lets see them sit behind the wheel of a truck for a month, bet you a whole years salary they could not hack it in this field so they have no reason to set policy. Same goes for the Politicians!

  • martymarsh

    I’m not sure if they think that America is really this stupid, or they think we have to take anything they ram down our throats, it appears to be the latter.
    I like your comment on the 11hr driving limit, I said the same thing when it came out, what an answer to fatigue, a brain surgeon had to come up with that one.
    I keep saying, it’s got to be me.

  • kiko kika

    regulation it’s good for $$$$$

  • John Barsness

    The folks who dream this stuff up have never driven a truck before. Without elaborating on my current job title…I happen to know some of them at the Federal level… they are just stuffed shirts with no real world over the road experience. Frustrates me to high heaven!

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton

    So cows are more important than truck driver safety eh?


    Way to go….Lol. This is getting ridiculous now. omg .

  • martymarsh

    They don’t have to know a thing, they have people like ATA telling them what they want and all they have to do is come up with a stupid law. YOU CAN”T REGULATE REST.

  • Bull Hauler

    From the comments I see posted here, I don’t see many people that understand what its like to stand in an oven, especially one with no fan(a stopped truck has no air flow). I understand your comments but have you ever seen livestock ever fall over dead from heat exhaustion? People do & usually its not because they are stuck in an aluminum box with no moving air. You all eat steak & hamburgers, bacon, eggs etc but do you know where it comes from?…. News Flash: its not a grocery store….. Livestock Haulers have to make sure these animals get there safe & alive so all you people can eat. Think about it human lives are important & the livestock these truckers transport are important too!

  • jimmyc63

    I finally figured out….how to load my big ol’ diesel truck.
    I got the horses under the hood, I got the cows in the trailer, and I got the PIGS in the bunk.

  • Gas Hauler

    NEXT: FMCSA mandates all bull wagons must have A/C in the trailer by 2014, so drivers can take their 30 minute breaks.

  • David Hendrickson

    I drove cattle trucks. Was putting in an average 16 hours a day on the road. Some days I would get 3 hours of sleep before I was up to drive to the next feedlot. You’re expected to load your cattle, drive them to the slaughter house, unload them and hit the road to the next feedlot and do this 5 days a week. For this I received the princely sum of 22% of the load which worked out to a whopping net of $700/week. Oh and no paper logs, no electronic logs, no logs at all needed to show that you are complying with the FMCSA regs as long as you dont drive beyond 150 miles of home base.
    There would never be any kind of abuse of the drivers with those regs now would there?

  • MD

    I never could never understand how animals are more important than humans…Maybe if I change my name to…Chance, Cookie or something along those names if I could be exempt as well.

  • Doc Bumper

    So haul ’em in a reefer. Problem solved.

  • Jim Cahoon

    Anyone notice all the new no parking signs going up in PA?

  • peewee

    Your right it dose pertain to freight haulers yall are the ones that run in to the back of each other on the interstate hit each other or some one else head on for not paying attention

  • Clueless Gov’t

    Loads of candy bars and beer will suffer from the above average temperatures too. Why don’t drivers of these loads get exemptions? Just curious. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.